Saturday, February 24, 2018

Former NHL player banned from KHL for striking referee

Dynamo Moscow defenseman Filip Novak has been banned from the next five KHL games for hitting a referee in the stomach with his stick in a game held in Yekaterinburg.

The incident occurred during a Wednesday game between Dynamo Moscow and Yekaterinburg Avtomobilist, where Moscow defeated Yekaterinburg in a 5-4 overtime win, according to RSport.

KHL head referee Alexander Polyakov said that the incident began when the referee mistakenly blocked Novak from pursuing the puck during game play. Novak first bumped into the referee in an attempt prevent the official from obstructing the puck, which is an allowable maneuver.

The infraction occurred when Novak struck the referee in the stomach with his stick, marking the second time the former Ottawa Senator has been punished for striking a referee.

While suspended, Novak miss Moscow's four remaining games in the regular KHL season, as well as the team's first playoff game, RSport reports.

The 30-year-old Novak joined the KHL in 2009 after playing 17 NHL games for the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets between 2005 and 2007.